Jedi Healer (Star Wars: Medstar II ) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2004
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"FULL OF LIGHTSABER BATTLES, THE JEDI PHILOSOPHY, AND LOTS OF NEW LIFE-FORMS."
"Reaves writes with a creative flair, allowing readers to experience an almost cinematic sensation as they move through the story. The language is colorful, the action scenes are dynamic, and the dialogue is realistic.... Shadow Hunter is a very good "Star Wars novel that reads as easily as a comic book.... Reaves does an excellent job."
From the Inside Flap
"While the Clone Wars wreak havoc throughout the galaxy, the situation on the far world of Drongar is desperate, as Republic forces engage in a fierce fight with the Separatists. . . .
The threatened enemy offensive begins as the Separatists employ legions of droids into their attack. Even with reinforcements, the flesh and blood of the Republic forces are just no match for battle droids' durasteel. Nowhere is this point more painfully clear than in the steaming Jasserak jungle, where the doctors and nurses of a small med unit face an impossible situation. As the dead and wounded start to pile up, surgeons Jos Vandar and Kornell "Uli" Divini know that time is running out.
Even the Jedi abilities of Padawan Barriss Offee have been stretched to the limit. Ahead lies a test for Barriss that could very well lead to her death-and that of countless others. For the conflict is growing-and for this obscure mobile med unit, there's only one resolution. Shocking, bold, unprecedented, it's the only option Jos and his colleagues really have. The unthinkable has become the inevitable. Whether it kills them or not remains to be seen.
Top Customer Reviews
The Battle for Drongar heats up as the future of the planet's valuable bota comes into question. Meanwhile, the healers of Rimsoo Seven have personal issues to resolve; Jos and Tolk's relationship has reached rocky ground, Den and I-5YQ must try to figure out where they fit in the wide galaxy and Padawan Barriss Offee has found a source of astonishing power, but should she give in to the urge to use it?
This book is so much better than it's predecessor as stuff actually happens and the characters actually develop somewhat. Also, elements that were disappointing in 'Battle Surgeons' are much improved here, such as the involvement of Black Sun in the plot and Barriss' exploration of her connection to the Force. Also there's a few bits and pieces that will attract fans, including an appearance by the Modal Nodes (that's the band from the cantina where Luke meets Han) and a reference to a superweapon being developed by the Republic for use in some sort of battlestation (can you say 'Death Star'?).
This book still lacks the epic scope that you'd hope for in a Star Wars book and I was also hoping for a few more connections to the authors' previous Star Wars books ('Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter' by Reaves and 'Shadows Of The Empire' by Perry). Also, throughout the book there is an astonishing amount of medical terminology (half of which I'd swear was made up on the spot) and you soon get sick to death of unfamiliar words that end in things like 'ectomy' or 'ogenic'.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The plot thickens significantly in this book, as the loose ends from the first half of the duology begin to get tied up. The characters are very easy to get attached to, and their personalities come through in shining colors. The authors do a good job of pulling you into the story. Without giving too much away, the resolution of the issue with the spy in the camp was very well written and the subterfuge practiced by the different bad guys was pleasant to read. Although it was simple to figure out who the spy was before it was definitively revealed, it was interesting to see the characters go through the deductive process. My only complain was that it seemed that Bariss should have been able to figure it out much sooner, and didn't take some simple logical steps earlier in the story. But it was interesting none the less.
My only other complaint was that there seemed to be an inordinate number of aliens that I was unfamiliar with. I kept having to go online to look them up, because they weren't adequately described in the book.
In this duology I've grown really attached to the characters. It's almost sad to continue to read about all the Jedi, knowing what is going to happen to them in the upcoming movie....
Along with the spy portion of the story is the main story of the surgeons. They live their lives, do their jobs, try to cope with life on the incredibly hot and muggy Drongar, and question why they are doing what they are doing. To go along with the cast of characters from the first book (Jos Vandar, Tolk, Jedi Apprentice Barriss Offee, I-Five) we are introduced to the young surgeon Uli Divini, who is taking the place of the killed surgeon Zan Yant. Uli is very confident, very skilled, and very untested. Jos questions whether Uli will be able to handle the work, though it is quickly evident that he can. There are two conflicts in this book. The first is in the new relationship of Jos and Tolk. It is a relationship which is forbidden by their culture. The second is figuring out who the spy is before the spy can cause any more damage.
As far as Star Wars stories go, I enjoyed the Medstar books more than most. Reaves and Perry have created a very interesting story here and a satisfying conclusion. Granted, I would have been slightly more satisfied if the spy was the other person, but we can't have it all. "Battle Surgeons" is a slightly better book because there was more of a M.A.S.H. feel to it, but there is much to like here. Anytime Barriss Offee is on the page is a good scene. She is one of the most interesting characters and the fact that she is a Jedi in training dealing with the potential for a drug addiction was a great idea, if underused. There was less M.A.S.H. stuff here, but the interactions with I-Five (the droid) more than make up for it. This book features, of all things, a quest to get I-Five drunk. Classic.
While this is a prequel novel featuring mostly on characters which were not in the movies, this Clone Wars novel helps to provide a feel (along with "Battle Surgeons") of just how the Clone Wars affected nearly everyone in the galaxy in some way. While there are no grand space battles, this, is like a battle to secure one meaningless hill in WWII. The battle must be fought because the other side wants the hill (though Bota is far more valuable than a hill), but in the larger picture, the hill doesn't really mean that much. The opportunity to see the surgeons again is more than worth the price of having a book set around that meaningless hill.
Let me explain. I loved the first Medstar novel, Battle Surgeons. It let us see others involved in the Clone Wars, not just the Jedi and stormtroopers-to-be. But while that book was excellent, and had a great setup for Jedi Healer, the latter just fell apart.
The title character, the Jedi healer, Bariss? Reduced to a subplot, along with the actual fighting (which did have a role in the first book). The whole purpose of the fighting is undone, rendering the events of the novels pointless. And the reveal of the spy (continued from the first novel) involves too much false setup and no hints as to the real culprit.
That said, I'm still looking forward to Reaves's upcoming Star Wars trilogy, since these two have both proven their potential elsewhere; Jedi Healer simply isn't a showcase for them.
One of the things I've enjoyed most about the loose network of Clone Wars novels, and especially the MedStar Novels is that they give us a glimpse at the fights that took place in the far corners of the Clone Wars era. Not every battle was lead by pairs of Jedi Masters facing off against Separatist leaders like Dooku. Sometimes battles took place on backwater planets like Drongar, and didn't include major movie characters, and that's fine with me. With the exception of Padawan Barriss Offee, most of the cast of the MedStar novels are pretty small-fry as it applies to the Star Wars universe, but Reaves and Perry do a good job of developing their personalities and motivations.
MedStar II revolves around the fact that the miracle drug Bota is mutating quickly and is about to lose it's potency. Separatists step up their attacks on Republic forces to take control of as many Bota fields as possible and the Black Sun smugglers become desperate to secure enough Bota for themselves to satisfy their crime lord bosses (and make a side profit). While there's some cheesy humor and a few plot-devices-of-conveniences (like when sub-space communication suddenly stops working for no apparent reason other than keeping Barriss from contacting the Jedi Temple), MedStar II was a fun, fast paced read with good dialogue and characters and even a solid plot twist. Additionally, there are some fun cameo appearances by the band first seen playing at the Mos Eisley Cantina in Episode IV and one of the first mentions of the planet busting super-weapon incorporated into the Death Star.